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Casascius Physical Bitcoins  2011 - 2013

Brass, Silver, Gold   |   0.1 BTC - 1000 BTC

Overview

Lookup your Casascius coin address:


Casascius 1 BTC Silver/Gold

Casascius 1 BTC Silver/Gold

Casascius coins are the iconic physical bitcoin. Originally produced to prove the concept of tangible bitcoin, and to provide conversation pieces at a time when almost no one had heard of bitcoin in general, these coins are now a rare and valuable collectible.



Casascius Coin Varieties

Casascius Variety

Year

Funded

Redeemed

Active



** Please note: These figures are based on assumptions made when parsing publicly released Casascius address data against the blockchain. These numbers should NOT be considered completely authoritative until explicitly verified by Casascius.


How They Work

Casascius coins contain a hologram on the reverse side of the coin. The tamper-evident hologram conceals a bitcoin private-key stored within the coin.

Note that Casascius coins were issued with three different hologram types/designs. The first version, dubbed "Series-1", features an inkjet-printed public address on the exterior of the coin. Note that all Series-1 holograms have a spelling error in the hologram (the 2nd "s" in "Casascius" is missing in the small holo-print); these are known as "error coins". The next iteration, "Series-2", featured a "windowed" hologram, with the coin's public address visible through the window in the hologram. The last design, "Series-3", also features a windowed hologram, but has a new visual design plus more elaborate tamper-resistence. The following coins show the different hologram styles: Series-1, Series-2, Series-3.


History

Mike Caldwell began producing Casascius coins (pronounced "ka-SAY-shuss") in 2011. Originally announced on bitcointalk, they quickly gained interest from the then-small number of bitcoin enthusiasts who were eager to spread awareness of bitcoin in general.

Mr. Caldwell ultimately produced in excess of 25,000 coins, in denominations ranging from 0.1 BTC to 1000 BTC, spanning 17 unique design varieties.

In November 2013, The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network sent Mr. Caldwell a letter suggesting that his Casascius coins business might be considered a money-transmitting business which required state-by-state licensing. Despite contesting the assertions in the FinCEN letter, which many viewed to be a mis-interpretation of Casascius' business model, Mr. Caldwell opted to cease production of Casascius coins stating "Mission already accomplished" in regards to raising bitcoin awareness.


Numismatic Value

Casascius coins have attained significant numismatic value. Like many sought-after historic coins, Casascius coins stand-out for many reasons. Their rarity and physical beauty, plus the fact that they pioneered the concept of physical bitcoins make them great collectors' items. Furthermore, their history is intimately tied to the rise of bitcoin in general, from inception as simply a proof-of-concept and conversation piece, to eventual termination due to regulatory overreach. It is ultimately history and connections to the past that drive desirability of collectables in general, and no other physical object ties more closely to bitcoin.

It's also noteworthy that some of the early coins saw significant circulation and tarnish relatively easily. Many of the early coins, as well as higher-denomination coins, were also redeemed (hologram removed to access the underlying digital bitcoin value), further reducing supply.

Casascius physical bitcoins will always be a symbolic representation of bitcoin's early history, and a beautiful way to tie the next evolution in currency with humanity's physical numismatic past.